The writing of sequels is something which divides readers and authors alike. Some say that sequels should not be written as they are rarely as good as the first novel. We at Bookerworm believe that sequels can sometimes live up to the standard set by the first novel and can even surpass them at times.
The most important thing to remember when writing a sequel is that each novel should be able to stand alone but they should also work just as well as part of a set. The sequel needs to contain links to the previous novels but it should also be able to be read out of sequence or by new readers without there being any confusion as to what is happening or has happened.
One of the beauties of writing a sequel is that all the background information, character history and general setting would have already been covered in the initial novel so the author can concentrate on creating a tantalizing plot.
When it is necessary to include things mentioned in the first novel do them as briefly as you can and where possible in a way that sheds a new light on them. For example, by introducing them from the perspective of a new character or in light of information that wasn't in the previous book.
When you start to think about writing a sequel sit down and write a list of all the things you loved about the first book and anything you didn't. If the things you don't like about your initial novel are things which will exist in the second one then aim to improve them as much as possible. Examine any lose ends from the first book and see if you can tie them up in the second and also look to see if any of the events in the first book can cause consequences in the second book. Try to find ways to reward readers from of the first novel without losing the interest of new readers.
Once you have ironed out these initial details you can focus on things like whether you are going to have a different setting for the book, character development and any twists in the plot.
In terms of character development you need to sit down and think about any new characters you might introduce and what their role will be. In addition, it is important to decide if your villain will be returning or if you are going to cast a new character as the biggest threat to your protagonist.
I know its a lot to think about but when you have done all this and the writing gets under way there is always time to think about making it a trilogy....
Happy writing x
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